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Bible Pathway - Mar. 25, 2011

Read Judges 8:1


Jealousy rises up (Judg. 8:1). After Gideon's death one of his sons conspires against his brothers and murders all but one. You will be surprised at whom God uses to remove the wicked son. Abimelech's "accident" and death.

God chose Gideon from the poor tribe of Manasseh. Gideon had confessed to God: My family is poor . . . and I am the least in my father's house (Judg. 6:15). But God knew that Gideon had a profound respect for Him that inspired his faith to be obedient to God regardless of the circumstances.

Gideon was the man chosen to deliver Israel from Midianite oppression. The men of Ephraim said unto him, why hast thou served us thus, that thou calledst us not, when thou wentest to fight with the Midianites? And they did chide with him sharply (8:1). The Ephraimites had long been characterized by a spirit of complaining and self-importance (Deut. 33:17). Consequently, God could not use them or anyone else who allows their life to be a cesspool of sin.

When Gideon blew the trumpet to summon volunteers to fight the Lord's battle, there is no record of even one response from the tribe of Ephraim. The "superior tribe" stayed at home till the victory was won, and then they faulted Gideon. One would have expected them to come to Gideon with apologies and regret that they had not volunteered for battle. In finding fault with Gideon they were really complaining against God, who chose and guided Gideon in all his maneuvers. The Ephraimites' ambition appeared to have been a desire for exalting themselves and gratifying their pride. Gideon is a refreshing contrast as he stood before the people like a giant in the midst of the murmuring majority.

The humility of Gideon was also apparent when at once he conceded the place of honor to them by saying: What have I done now in comparison to you (Judg. 8:2)? He was ready to underrate himself and yield to their attitude of superiority. He used a proverbial expression: Is not the gleaning of the grapes of Ephraim better than the vintage (the full crop) of Abiezer? (8:2), and concluded by saying: God hath delivered into your hands the princes of Midian (8:3). He was faithful to God in reminding these proud complainers that the glory for all achievements on that memorable day really belonged to God who hath delivered into your hands the princes.

Christians are urged: Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. . . . Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who . . . took upon Him the form of a servant (Phil. 2:3-7).

Thought for Today:

Jesus saith unto him, I am The Way, The Truth, and The Life; no man cometh unto the Father, but by Me (Luke 1:49).

Christ Portrayed:

By Gideon, who delivered the Israelites from Midian (Judg. 8:22-23). The Lord Jesus has delivered us out of the hands of our spiritual enemies, and it is fitting that He should rule over us. Our Lord Jesus Christ . . . gave Himself for our sins, that He might deliver us from this present evil world (Gal. 1:3-4; II Pet. 2:9; Rom. 11:26).

Word Studies:

8:1 chide contend; 8:3 was abated subsided; 8:9 in peace victoriously; 8:12 discomfited defeated; 8:26 collars recklaces; 8:27 ephod priestly garment; whoring worshiping false gods; snare stumbling block; 8:32 sepulchre tomb; 9:2 your bone and your flesh your relative; 9:4 vain and light worthless and reckless; 9:17 adventured risked; 9:20 fire fiery destruction; 9:25 liers in wait in ambush; 9:38 mouth boasting; 9:52 went hard unto approached near; 9:56 rendered returned.

Prayer Needs:

Pray for Government Official: Sen. John Ensign (NV) • Staff: Mike Moore • Country: Bangladesh (125.7 million) in southern Asia • Major languages: Bangla and English • Present religious freedom may become limited • 86.6% Muslim; 12.1% Hindu; .6% Buddhist; .3% Christian; .4% Other • Prayer Suggestion: Children, ask the Lord to enable you to honor your parents (Eph. 6:1-3).

Optional Reading: John 16:1

Memory Verse for the Week: 1 Peter 1:8

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